A message from our Managing Partners
The path forward
Brendan Swords, Jean Hynes and Steve Klar share their thoughts on the issues of racial injustice that so many around the US and the rest of the world are wrestling with today. They discuss the firm’s commitment to tangible action — a path forward that is deeply rooted in our firm’s shared values and a desire for real and lasting progress.
Like many of you, we have been deeply engaged in conversations with our colleagues about issues of racial injustice and the implications for our employees, our clients, and our communities. We would like to provide an update on how we are approaching these critical issues and how we plan to turn the tragic and unacceptable events of recent weeks into positive action and change.
Starting with solidarity
As we have communicated internally, we stand together with our African and Black heritage colleagues, clients, and communities, and with all our diverse employees. We feel a profound sadness and are deeply troubled by the senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many before them; the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on disadvantaged communities; and the racism and inequality that persist across society. Our hearts go out to Black colleagues and clients globally as they and their loved ones process and endure these ongoing hardships. We do our best to empathize and understand their pain, while recognizing we can never fully put ourselves in their place.
The Wellington community is grounded in the universal and inviolate principle that all people are created equal. Black Lives Matter, and racism is unacceptable. We believe, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did, that people should “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” These overarching, global truths guide our firm’s mission to be diverse, inclusive, equitable, and humanistic.
Listening to learn more about what will make a difference
We are committed to more enduring progress at our firm and in our communities and recognize that this will require difficult conversations, deep reflection, new ideas, and the resilience to acknowledge failures and pivot. We recognize with humility that we alone don’t have the answers, but we are optimistic that our community does. We will draw on the wisdom of our people, clients, peers in the industry, and the community organizations with whom we work.
We have been actively engaging in conversations with our Black colleagues in recent weeks and they have shared several powerful messages. They would like to see all of us become better educated about racism and inequality in society and about the realities faced every day by Black and other underrepresented colleagues. They have carried too much of this burden for too long, and we are asking the other members of our firm to take on a larger share of the responsibility to drive change. Lastly, they want to see tangible action and progress — particularly on the core issues of hiring, promoting, and developing Black talent.
Turning to tangible action
We have built a strong foundation of firm and community initiatives, but more is required. We are committed to expanding and accelerating our efforts, increasing our investments, and working closely with the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the leadership of our internal Black business network. Specific areas of focus will include:
- Leadership and accountability. The leaders of our firm will take a more hands-on approach to improving diversity and inclusion. This will include a focus on hiring, developing and promoting Black and other underrepresented talent into investment, management, and leadership roles. We will also work with our Diversity and Inclusion Committee to develop an accountability framework for the firm.
- Becoming better educated. We will expand diversity and inclusion training for our managers and leaders. We will also launch programs that foster open conversations and better education about the realities our Black colleagues face and ways we can contribute to an inclusive environment for all.
- Developing our Black and diverse talent. We will invest in more skills-based training for early career Black and diverse professionals and their direct managers, starting with the launch of our “Groundbreakers” program this summer. We will also expand our mentorship/ally program for Black and diverse professionals.
- Making a bigger difference in our communities. The Wellington Management Foundation supports programs and organizations that improve educational opportunities for youth from traditionally underserved and economically challenged communities. We believe the Foundation is making a difference in our communities, but we will commit more funding for community efforts. We have already started with donations to the NAACP and UNCF, and we will add more organizations over time.
While we are distraught over recent events, we are also optimistic that the Wellington community has the values and determination to make real progress. As Nelson Mandela said, “I am fundamentally an optimist. . . . Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed towards the sun, one’s feet moving forward.” Together as a firm, we will deepen our resolve to move our community forward and to make Wellington more diverse, inclusive, equitable and humanistic.
We hope you, our clients, are staying safe and healthy, and we welcome the opportunity to engage on these issues and our collective pursuit of meaningful and lasting change.